Samuelsson & Plekanec play hero... Halak was hero... St.Louis looking to win... Gustavsson re-signs... U-18 talk... Hecht out "weeks"... Conan climbs aboard
Mikael Samuelsson potted two, including the game winner in OT last night as the Canucks avoided the upset. He's had at least 10 points in each of the past three post-seasons so he's bringing that playoff experience to the west coast. He also had seven shots on net last night so he looks ready to roll.
Tomas Plekanec had the other OT winner last night as the Habs shocked the Caps and TP got the last laugh (at least in game #1) in his verbal jousting with Jose Theodore.
But the real story in Washington was the play of Jaroslav Halak as he was brilliant stopping 45 of 47 shots to shut down the Caps high flying offence. None of those shots came from Ovechkin though as he was totally turned invisible by the Habs D. Halak could frustrate the Caps but we'd expect them to be too much to handle over a seven game series and we'd still bet on the Caps pulling this one out.
Interesting interview with Marty St.Louis the other day where he said that he wants to be on a winning team and insinuated that the Lightning were probably not going to be one of those anytime soon. He's going into the final year of his deal so there could be a move to be made here but we're not sure it will be a positive one for him from a fantasy standpoint... he's had it pretty good down there in Florida as he finished 6th in league scoring this year with 94 points and has averaged 90 points a season over his last four. While he is getting up there, he's not ancient as he'll turn 35 this summer.
The Leafs re-signed Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year deal yesterday, we'd expect this to be a platoon situation next year with JS Giguere in Toronto but either one could step up and make a case that they should be the #1 if they perform well. Gustavsson showed at the end of the year that he has that kind of potential with a strong finish when the games were meaningless, going 7-2-1 with a 2.33 & .915 over his last 10 games.
Canada really broke out at the U-18s as they crushed the hosts Belarus 11-3 yesterday, with the much maligned John McFarland leading the way with a hat-trick... he's been slowly sliding in our 2010 Consolidated Draft Rankings, all the way down to #20 in the latest edition. Canada will take on the US later today. In other action, Teemu Pulkkinen of Finland has his second straight four point game yesterday and leads the tournament in scoring with 4+4=8 so far. Pulkkinen started the year in the top 20 of our rankings but has since made his way right out of the top 30.
Jochen Hecht was thought to be close to returning from his finger injury but then it was revealed yesterday that he had more surgery and is out for "weeks".
The LBI that Milan Michalek suffered in game #1 was a completely torn ACL and so his playoffs and summer vacation plans are over.
What's distracting us today? Three random videos...
We saw this on somebody's twitter account. We can't remember who's though. Our bad. Anyway, check out Conan O'Brien wearing what he thinks to be a personalized Vancouver Canucks t-shirt. Sure, bring on Conan as a fan after he moves to cable... typical NHL move.
Next up, another video via Stoeten's The Buzz. We feel bad pinching his content so often but it's good stuff so we can't help ourself. Check out this 1982 argument between two sportswriters over Wayne Gretzky's monster $20 million, 15 year deal... see Garth Snow, long term deals can work out! According to Cap Geek, 12 current Oilers make more than Gretzky's huge $1.33 million average back in the day. At least we can all sleep at night knowing Mike Comrie and his $1.25 million salary just fell short of Wayne.
Finally, Throw the Snake makes it on HNIC (stick tap to PPP)